May 24, 2012

The Sweetest Summer Cake ~
Beach Bucket Cake Tutorial

This is a cake that anyone can make
no matter what your level of baking
or cake decorating skill!


It's fun, whimsical, and very versatile!  
 It takes little time and little money,
but makes a big impression!

Perhaps you've noticed that things around here have been pretty quiet lately.  That's because it's the last week of school for my girls, and the year-end activities have my head spinning -- 5th grade play, teacher gifts, class parties, and the school carnival just to name a few.  Every year the school carnival has a cake walk, and since I'm a cake artist, my girls have come to expect me to donate something fabulous to the event.  So what's a busy mama to do?  We got home from the school play at 8:30 last night and I still had homework to do.  Thank goodness I have a few tricks up my sleeve for occasions just like this!

All wrapped up for the "Cake Walk"
The Beach Bucket cake is the perfect cake for any occasion where you want a delicious dessert with "WOW" factor, but not a lot of time.  You can use any type of cake, filling and frosting. You can use mini pails to make individual cakes for birthday parties too.  Here's how it's done...

Beach Bucket Cake

  • A plastic pail/bucket and shovel
I purchased mine from Michael's Crafts for $1 each

  • Any type of cake
You can use homemade or store-bought cake.  You can layer cupcakes or chunks of cake like a trifle, or use layer cakes as I did.  For layer cakes, measure the inside of the bucket to determine the size of cakes you need.  To fill the bucket close to the top, you'll need four layers.  I used only three. 
  • Any type of frosting
You can also use a filling like mousse, preserves, or custard between the layers.  Fresh berries and whipped cream make a wonderful compliment to white or angel-food cake.

  • Edible "sand"
Graham Crackers (5 full crackers)
2 Tablespoons Raw Sugar
1 teaspoon Black Sugar

You can purchase the raw sugar in most grocery stores. The black sugar is made by Wilton and can be found in the cake decorating section of most craft/hobby stores.
  • Decorations
Chocolate Seashells
(You can make your own with a Wilton mold and candy melts, or they can often be found pre-made at Cost Plus or Trader Joe's).  

Step 1:  Wash bucket and shovel with warm soapy water.  Rinse and dry.

Step 2:  Place one layer of cake in the bottom of the bucket.  Top with filling or frosting.  Continue to alternate cake and frosting/filling until you're satisfied with the height of the cake.  The top layer should be of frosting.

Step 3:  Make the edible "sand".  First, reduce the graham crackers to an ultra-fine meal in a high-powered blender or food processor.  Place in a bowl and stir in the raw sugar and black sugar. 

Step 4:   Dump the "sand" on top of the frosted cake and spread out to give the illusion of a bucket full of sand.

Step 5:  Insert the shovel, then decorate the sand with edible seashells.

I made little flags out of scrapbook paper and paper straws, and stamped the type of cake on the back.  My Beach Bucket Cakes were carrot cake made from the Joy the Baker recipe (omitting the walnuts and raisins), and were frosted with my homemade vanilla bean cream cheese icing.

Life's a Beach!


  1. These are so adorable. I can't ever imagine making them but I have to pin it for sure!

  2. My little niece would love that cake, I'll have to make it for her sometime. Thanks

  3. So much fun, Jenn! My girls would go nuts over this!

  4. OMGoodness, Jenn!! These are adorable!! You are so clever and I love how your projects always look so professional!! I love this and am totally borrowing this idea!! oh, and pinning. :)

  5. Love this idea! I feel like I saw this once as a kid and always wanted to do it. I definitely need to try this one day.

  6. a perfect idea for a cake walk but also for a picnic at the beach. so clever and expected :). sounds like you had a busy week..i imagine summer will be a quick step of activity too!
    thank you for always being a great inspiration

  7. This is such a COOL idea! I just love it!

  8. Fantastic idea for summer parties! Thanks for sharing. :)

  9. Adorable, as always! You never cease to amaze.

  10. Hi Jenn,

    I'm hosting a giveaway over at my blog and would love for you to stop by and participate.

    Looking forward to seeing you there.

  11. Darling idea. Josie is having a flamingo themed birthday party in a few weeks. This would be perfect. I've got all kinds of flamingo/beach party decorations started. I'll be sure to added this to the list.

  12. WHOA. This is pretty incredible! Sharing on FB...

  13. Just need some gummy shells for an extra treat. :)

  14. This is such a neat idea! Love it!

  15. These are adorable and super cute!!
    I just love this idea

  16. I love this fun summer idea for a cake!!! And I love that you used the black sprinkles to make the "sand" look more are awesome:-) Pinning this idea now!!!

  17. Such a cute idea! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Jenn this is so fun! What a fun thing to have at a bake sale. I must remember this!! The best part is that it is super easy and you can use so many different thing sto make it.

    If you have time, we would LOVE for you to stop in and link up this post and anything crafty in our Crafty Showcase. It runs from Sat-Thur and then we have a Feature Friday with the top pics!

    Have a great weekend!

    Susie @Bowdabra


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